Difference Between Rural and Urban (With Table)

Rural areas are those geographical areas that are not located near towns. In most cases, they are known as farming areas. It is the opposite of urban areas which is characterized by buildings and where people work and live.

Rural vs Urban

Rural areas are characterized by scattered villages with open spaces and natural plantations. The population density in these areas is low. The main source of income in rural settings is farming.

Urban settings are man-made environments which are populated. Towns and suburban areas are also classified as urban areas. Urban centers are populated and chances are that there are better employment opportunities.

Comparison Table Between Rural and Urban (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison




Urban life is fast and involving

Life in rural areas is relaxed and simple


Urban areas include cities and towns

Rural areas include villages and smaller settlements (hamlet)


An area where people work and live. It is highly populated and possesses features of an established environment

The area located away from towns and cities.

Associated with

Urban settings are associated with trade, commerce or provision of services (Non-agricultural work)

Rural areas are associated with agriculture and livestock


Urban areas are secluded from nature

Rural areas are in direct contact with nature


Urban areas have settlement plans in place. Developments in these areas occur depending on urbanization and industrialization.

These areas develop at random depending on the availability of natural plants.

Social Mobility

It is highly intensive

It is less intensive

Division of labor

Division of labor is always available during allotment of the job

There is no division of labor

Size of Population

Urban centers are densely populated

Rural settings are scarcely populated


What is Rural Area

A rural area is an open environment with huge tracts of land with few homes and other buildings. In rural areas, the population is very low. Homes and businesses are located a few miles from each other.

In most rural areas agriculture is the main economic activity. Most of the rural area inhabitants live or work on farms. People and buildings are absent but the presence of wildlife is constant. Life in these areas is simple as people can meet and interact more often. In most cases, rural residents are seen as peasants, rustic, and isolated.

What is Urban Area?

A built-up area or urban area is a human-inhabited area. The area is highly populated and features characteristics of a built environment. Urban areas are highly developed with human structures like commercial buildings and roads.

Lifestyle in the urban areas is stereotyped in most cases. It’s presumed to be more hectic and moves at a fast speed compared to rural life. Urban centers are very important because by getting development right, the create job opportunities. They also improve the living standards of residents and increase economic growth.



Some will opt to live in cities because many people rise out of poverty in urban cities. Many of the advancements maybe in technology or infrastructure starts from urban areas.

There is a quantitative difference between rural life and urban life. The number of differences will determine whether you will opt for a rural area or in the cities. The majority prefers to stay in town. But unemployment and crime are to disadvantages of urban settings.

In the village, the weather is good and there is plenty of fresh food compared to cities.  These among many other advantages make the rural area a go stay place. But when it comes to opportunities, it is worse off than urban areas.



  1. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19711801387
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220679909597608
  3. https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdf/10.1257/aer.89.2.281
  4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/095624780301500111